Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev unexpectedly called for a trilateral meeting with Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Russia’s Astrakhan, on October 27th, amid increasingly antagonistic statements by the two sides.
“At the talks the parties approved a joint statement. The document, which is humanitarian in purpose, has great importance for resolving the conflict in view of the various difficulties still apparent today in Azerbaijani-Armenian relations over the Nagorno-Karabakh issue,” Dmitry Medvedev said after the meeting and added that the statement aims to bolster the ceasefire regime and strengthen confidence-building measures.
According to the statement, the Armenia’s Serge Sargsian and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev have agreed that their first step would be an immediate exchange of prisoners of war and the return of the bodies of those killed.
Answering journalists’ questions after the meeting, Mr Medvedev noted that the general principles for settling the Nagorno-Karabakh problem could be drafted in time for the OSCE summit that will take place on December 1-2, 2010 in Astana. Today’s trilateral meeting was the seventh so far and the third this year.
The real purpose of the meeting
Russia’s Medvedev called Armenian and Azerbaijani president, after Ilham Aliyev said today’s Republic of Armenia, capital Yerevan were located on historical Azeri lands, to which Serzh Sargsian responded angrily, calling Azerbaijan a fascist country.
With the meeting, Medvedev reassured the international community, that Russia is the real power in the region. More importantly, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents adopted a joint statement, despite the recent exchange of mutual insults and accusations. Clearly, that was forced too.
Generally, I suspect this wasn’t a meeting about peaceful regulation of Nagorno-Karabakh Dispute, but rather a scolding session, where Russia demonstrated some muscles.
PS: One of Armenian blogs brought this photo to my attention. Isn’t it funny how Sargsian and Aliyev have swapped places and are posting for a photo in front of each-others flags. That must have been quite some scolding by Medvedev to disorient them so hard!